Robot heads for North Sea oil rigs in 'world first' scheme

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An autonomous robot will be deployed to an offshore oil and gas platform in the North Sea later this year, in a first for the sector. The £4m project's backers said the move was designed to take humans out of dangerous and dull jobs, and reinvent oil and gas as an industry of the future. Under the pilot scheme, the robot will initially be deployed at the French oil firm Total's gas plant on Shetland before being sent to join the 120 workers on the company's Alwyn platform, 440km north-east of Aberdeen. The machine, made by Austrian firm Taurob and supported on the software side by German university TU Darmstadt, will be used for visual inspections and detecting gas leaks. Rebecca Allison, asset integrity solution centre manager at the publicly-funded Oil and Gas Technology Centre, insisted autonomous robots would not be used to cut the wage burden of offshore workers who are paid a premium for working in tough, remote conditions.

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  Country: Europe (0.39)
  Industry: Energy > Oil & Gas > Upstream (0.91)